Thanksgiving 2017

Over the years, we have seen some of our West Coast sponsor mids meet up with family somewhere fun for a different Thanksgiving ... NYC, easy few hours on a train for mid leaving from BWI Airport AMTRAK station to Penn Station in heart of NYC. Flying SW straight to Orlando for a Disney vacation, family flying there too. Different and memorable approach in taking a real vacation with family.

Mids can book rooms at the Armed Forces hotel Shades of Green at the park.

No mid will be stuck eating cheerios in Bancroft. Even the mids on restriction get taken care of!

If funding and time is an issue, completely understandable given Thanksgiving and winter holiday proximity, I can echo other posters' comments about mids being welcomed into sponsors' and others' homes. We have hosted mids whose sponsors were out of town, international mids getting their first experience with Thanksgiving - and not just for the meal, but for the entire break. My DH recalls taking as many as 6 home on the train to Philly, and his mom just folding them into the family.
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You're right, it's always best to air on the side of caution. I only said that because it's been my experience that they have not fried people for showing up late (due to traffic/delayed flights) while I have been at the Academy. This may very well just be in my company/battalion.

Speaking to those who may not be able to get their midshipmen home for Thanksgiving, The Academy always gets offers from local families (not necessarily sponsors) who volunteer to host a midshipman for Thanksgiving day so that they may enjoy a home cooked meal off the yard.

The biggest thing with planning your flight within the window they say is that if something DOES happen, it protects you from getting in trouble. Say EOL is 2000, your flight was supposed to land at 1700, but you were delayed substantially because of weather. Most company leadership would be much more understanding versus someone who intentionally booked their flight to land at 1915 and was late.
Ditto on the "Rule". Its here-say but DD asked about flights/delays/missed Flts etc. She said that her Chain of Command advised that to be late w/0 consequence a flight schedule had to allow 2 (or was it 4) hours between wheels down in the DC /Baltimore area and report time for end of leave..... AS LONG AS you kept your chain of command advised of any delays that might cause you not to report on time -------- no problem if you are late.

Besides: "Plebes can get away with anything"------" because plebes are presumed to be stupid and unknowing"

DD enjoyed being home for thanks giving last year, it was good break before rolling into finals. Just build plenty of slack into the return trip.

As I lay out cash for this stuff I keep two things in mind:
1) Had my kid gone to the state school down the road. I'd be paying tuition and(in most cases) room&board between $18K and 40K; had she gone to an Ivy League school the number would be closer to $75K per year----------USNA has me waaaaay ahead on $ for college.

2) I remember shelling out way too much $ to have 2 pairs and 2 shirts tailored for DD durning PPW. As we walked off base day one of PPW, DD mentioned that her pride in the uniform was at conflict with the way the U-ni made it her look. She speculated that the USN might have intentionally designed the Uni to make women less attractive.

DD is 5' 10" an hard as a rock, her thighs are large from exercise, and she has Dads shoulders on Moms rib cage V-ing down to a small waste.
The subject uniform pants sat high on her waste billowing down to a zipper & crotch that stopped at mid thigh. The shirt was pretty much the same story, it fit in the shoulders, but it was huge around her middle. Looking at her, seeing exactly the same clothing problem I've had all my life and forgetting how tired-n- stressed she'd been ------ I chuckled. DD choked back tears. When I realized my mistake, and how much it bothered her -----boom, off to the tailor. Here's the thing: I, (Daddy), fixed the problem with a couple of shirts and pants that fit her. In the intervening 8 months my DD hasn't asked me to "fix" anything else. In 8 months she's gone from her Mom's baby to an adult, (some rough edges still, but an adult). As I write this, I honestly doubt that she will ever look to me to "Fix It" again ---------------I am glad I took the opportunity to get a couple of pairs of pants tailored.

Understanding that people have different resources to work with, my advice as a 2020 Plebe Parent is to give/ do/ travel for your Plebe as much as you can afford this year without regard to whether a given expense makes sense in absolute terms. Its a crazy hi-stress year for them, and they'll need less and less from you as the weeks go by. If I were a 2021 Plebe parent, I'd welcome a chance to "open the wallet" if I can make anything easier/better; could be your last chance.
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Thanks for that post! We will be 2021 Plebe parents and are fortunate to live fairly close by in VA about 40 minutes drive. The Dean of admissions had joked that years ago when their daughter was a plebe, his wife would be "hiding in the bushes" taking pictures of their DD and waiting to catch a glimpse of her during the year. I am fairly certain my wife will be in full camouflage in the bushes this coming year outside of Bancroft! ;-) Hard to let go and let them be the grown and responsible adults that they all are but know it is inevitable:(
All still true as of last year. They usually get all class periods done by midday, by starting early. Given long lines and security at BWI, and travel time to IAD or DCA on day before Thanksgiving, err on the side of caution.

And - dependent on when leave expires on Sunday, flights must be scheduled to land x hours before leave ends, to allow for delays. I have seen that vary from 6 to midnight on Sunday. I think the "land by" time is 4 hours - the policy will be published, but it's way early. Your plebe will be responsible for knowing.

There will a new Commandant.

As always, just because something happened one way last year, does not mean it will be the same this year.
Thanks as always for everyone's help!